Long-Term Individual and Population Consequences of Early-Life Access to Health Insurance

29 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2017  

Étienne Gaudette

University of Southern California

Gwyn Pauley

University of Southern California

Julie M. Zissimopoulos

University of Southern California - Sol Price School of Public Policy; The RAND Corporation; University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics

Date Written: October 2016

Abstract

Gaining access to health insurance in childhood has been associated with improved childhood health and educational attainment. Expansions in health insurance access have steadily lowered the rates of uninsured children and may have long term consequences for adult health and well being. This paper analyzes the impact of gaining health insurance in childhood on health and economic outcomes during adulthood using dynamic microsimulation. We find disease prevalence at age 65 falls for most chronic conditions, with the exception of cancer. We also find increased access to health insurance in childhood results in 11 additional months of life expectancy and 16 additional months lived free of disability. There is no change in total lifetime medical spending, although both Medicaid and Medicare expenditures fall. Lifetime earnings increase by about 8% for individuals who gain the benefits of childhood health insurance.

Keywords: health insurance access, childhood health, educational attainment

Suggested Citation

Gaudette, Étienne and Pauley, Gwyn and Zissimopoulos, Julie M., Long-Term Individual and Population Consequences of Early-Life Access to Health Insurance (October 2016). Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. 2016-355. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2914437 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2914437

Étienne Gaudette (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Gwyn Pauley

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Julie M. Zissimopoulos

University of Southern California - Sol Price School of Public Policy ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States

The RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3333
United States

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